Dutch emergency assistance for Vanuatu

The government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has announced that it will make a financial contribution of EUR 500,000 to help the people of Vanuatu. The island state in the Pacific Ocean was hit hard by cyclone Pam on Friday, which has caused great devastation.

Minister Lilianne Ploumen (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation): 'It is important for emergency assistance to be at the site as soon as possible. Many people have lost everything because of the cyclone. There is a feeling of great desperation.'

The minister will determine, based on on-the-spot assessment by the United Nations, the Red Cross and humanitarian organizations, how the funds can be used best. She is currently attending a high-level international conference in Japan on the prevention of disasters.

Vanuatu has 260.000 inhabitants. As estimated, half of the population has directly been affected by the cyclone. The Vanuatu government has declared a state of emergency.